The Secret that Healdsburg Locals Don't Want Others To Know
Savvy travelers know that flights on Fridays-Sundays are always more expensive than mid-week. If you're looking to take some time off work to schedule a much-needed escape to wine country, here's an insider tip. Many locals work in hospitality and the weekends flourish with travelers enjoying wine country weddings, wine club parties, whirlwind wine tastings and delicious farm-to-table dinners. When do the locals get their turn to enjoy a bit of the good life? The answer is Tuesday Nights on the Plaza! Locals and those savvy travelers come together and dance their pants off in the Downtown Plaza! Tuesday Nights on the Plaza offers a FREE live concert every Tuesday night during the summer, accompanied with vendors offering fresh, local food! Hawley Winery's Tasting Room & Gallery, situated right around the corner from the plaza, will be stocked with award-winning wines, bay-area cheeses, crackers and even to-go cups that you may bring with you to enjoy your wines on the plaza!
Enjoy a FREE Live outdoor concert, sip wine and picnic with friends from 5:00pm-8:00pm every Tuesday between May 28th and August 27th! Click here for official website and sponsor information!
2019 Tuesdays in the Plaza Schedule
|May 28||Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings||Slide Guitar/ Blues||http://www.roy-rogers.com/|
|June 4||King Street Giants||Trad Jazz||https://www.thekingstreetgiants.com/|
|June 11||Sol Horizon
w/ Movie in the Plaza after the concert! (in English with Spanish subtitles)
|High Vibes Reggae||http://solhorizon.com/|
|June 18||Gator Nation Band||New Orleans R&B||https://www.gatornationband.com/|
|June 25||Sal's Greenhouse||Funk / Soul||https://www.salsgreenhouse.com|
|July 2||The Sorentinos||Retro Rock & Roll||http://www.thesorentinos.com/|
w/ Movie in the Plaza after the concert! (in English with Spanish subtitles)
|Disco / Funk / Soul||https://www.afroliciousmusic.com/|
|July 16||Sunny and the Black Pack||Soul, R&B and Rock||https://www.blackpack.info/|
|July 23||Volker Strifler Band||Blues / Rock||https://www.reverbnation.com/volkerstrifler|
|July 30||Midtown Social||Dance Party Beats||https://www.midtownsocialband.com/|
|August 6||Soul Fuse||Soul / Funk / R&B||http://www.soulfuseband.com/|
|August 13||Los Cenzontles
w/ Celebration of Latino Music & Art & Movies in the Plaza after the concert (in Spanish with English subtitles)
|Traditional Mexican Music||https://www.loscenzontles.com/band|
|August 20||The Carolyn Sills Combo||Spaghetti Western Swing||https://www.carolynsills.com/|
|August 27||The Duvets||Dance Rock||https://www.duvetsrock.com/|
General Concert Rules
Please note the following rules are to ensure everyone's safety and enjoyment of the concerts:
Tuesdays in the Plaza are pet-free events. Service animals specifically trained to aid individuals with a disability are allowed.
Chairs and blankets left unattended prior to 4:00pm will be removed. Please keep group seating as compact as possible.
Tables, blankets, and reserved group seating are not permitted on the concrete. Pop-up tents and shade structures are not permitted. Tables must not obstruct the view of other concert attendees.
Alcohol consumption is only permitted from 5:00pm - 8:00pm.
Scooters, skateboards, and bicycles may not be ridden in the park or on the surrounding sidewalks.
Barbeques are not permitted in the park.
Smoking is not permitted in the park.
We look forward to seeing you in the Plaza!
No time to plan your picnic? We got you!
Call our Hawley Tasting Room on Tuesdays before 6pm for your take-out cheese, crackers AND chilled wine!
Springtime in the Vineyard
We are excited to announce that bloom is nearly here! Our vines have been developing quickly since we pruned last month. CLICK HERE to watch a video about our vineyard pruning techniques. In that video, John talks about how we prune our vines and why he likes to wait until buds begin to swell before pruning. What is really interesting is how different the vines look now!
In the past 32 days, we have seen bud break, shoot growth and even cluster formation! With the heavy rains throughout winter, and the sun shining bright these days, we have high hopes for harvest this year! We are keeping everyone in the loop with behind the scenes photos and video clips as our vines develop and our harvest begins! Follow @hawleywine on Instagram and Hawley Winery on Facebook for more.
Better yet: Follow hashtag #HawleyHarvest2019 for fun harvest footage as we go!
Discovering the meaning of family grape farms in the US
“Driving onto the Hawley Bradford Mountain estate 1,000 feet above sea level on a cold winter day, I thought of Premier Cru — French official classifications of vineyards that produce superior wine. Brilliant blue skies and white billowy clouds framed the rolling hills and vineyards patterned into the lay of this land.
Most winter mornings, fog blankets the steep and rocky hillside soils of these extraordinary vineyards. Nine acres are planted to organically grown grapes, mostly red, on vines that ideally struggle for water and nutrients.
The intention of my visit with John Hawley and his sons, Paul and Austin, was to examine more closely where we have journeyed in the past four decades of California winegrowing. Where we are headed with the next generation.
In the 1980s Sonoma County was the land of opportunity. John with his bride, Dana, a classically trained biological illustrator, settled their family on 18 pristine acres above West Dry Creek Valley.
A graduate from UC Davis with a degree in enology, John apprenticed in the vineyards and made wine with Lou Preston. Soon after, he was hired at Clos du Bois, and then honed his skills as a winemaker for Kendall-Jackson. Looking to his own property for inspiration, in 1996 John established Hawley Winery.
“Growing up it didn’t seem sustainable to follow our father into the wine business. A one-man show with long hours, it was a struggle,” observed younger son Austin. “When my brother and I returned from working in vineyards and wineries in Australia and New Zealand, we had a more global understanding of the wine business. It was then we realized our commitment to the family land, and that Sonoma County is one of the best growing regions in the world.”
Paul and Austin are graduates of University of California at Santa Cruz. In joining the family business, Paul’s interest and degree in business made him the obvious choice as general manager. Austin, a pre-med student studying biological sciences, had always been interested in winemaking with his father. John appreciates that both sons have great palates for winemaking.
“Culture is changing,” said John, “and each generation brings their own ideas and refinement with it. In early years, we looked to France where great wines were being made. We studied what they were doing and soon realized our grapes in California were riper and we were in a perfect place to make wine. This new generation is not as tied to tradition as we were. They aren’t as concerned with the First Growths of France,” John continued.
“Our real opportunity with multi-generational winegrowing,” Austin said, “is that Dad created the foundation. He cultivated this awesome hillside property and built the winery. It was his generation that convinced consumers that Sonoma County is a world-class wine destination. My brother and I watched the town of Healdsburg convert from hardware stores on the plaza to tasting rooms.”
Defining perhaps the greatest aspects of generational farming, John acknowledges his sons are making better wines.
“Each year they learn more about our vineyard and what it does best,” he said.
Often, while they’re working, Paul and Austin’s children spend time on the farm with their grandparents, experiencing nature as they did growing up.
Like many modern farming families, the Hawley’s are reshaping the landscape of American agriculture. This multi-generational family works together for the betterment of the land.
World-class soils and climate, biodiversity with organic vineyards and assorted gardens, John devoted to falconry, Dana, the matriarch having set the stage with her talent and creativity, using the land as inspiration for magnificent art. Austin perfecting estate wines, designing tasting room furniture from reclaimed wine barrels. Paul directing winery efforts, while crafting Nebbiolo wine and brews from hops grown on their land.
I realize it is sacrilegious to suggest that in America we can have anything similar to a Premier Cru. So what words can we use to acknowledge the vital winegrowing movement that has been underway for decades? Families with reverence for superior land with ideal terroir on which they build their lives. Lives abundant with ingenuity and inspiration, complementary crops and artistic endeavors.
Farming in America is continuingly evolving with sustainable practices and diverse uses for the land. Winegrowing families like the Hawley’s are leading this transformation. “
-Maria Gewirtz, The Healdsburg Tribune, Wine Words, March 14, 2019
HAWLEY AWARDED THREE DOUBLE-GOLDS!!!
The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition is the largest wine competition in Northern California! We are very excited to announce that our following wines came back with double-gold medals:
2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Hopkins River Ranch, Russian River Valley
2017 Chardonnay, Hopkins River Ranch, Russian River Valley
2017 Zinfandel, Treborce Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley
FUN FACT #1: All three of these wines are planned for release in our April 2019 wine club allotment! Not yet a member of the Hawley Wine Club? That's an easy fix...
FUN FACT #2: Our die-hard Ponzo Zinfandel Fans learned really quickly that the Treborce Zin would be a stellar stand in! Well who'd a thought it would be such a ham?? Good thing lots of folks stocked up with this double-gold medal winner as a FUTURES wine last March 2018 and purchased it at nearly wholesale pricing! Would you like to learn more about buying Hawley wines at 30-35% off? Join our mailing list! or Check out our events page to get details about Barrel Tasting 2019!
January can be pretty dreary in a vineyard, but since we plant a cover crop and, additionally, because we don't use Roundup or other herbicides, we are seeing wildflowers pop up all over! Seeds for our cover crop are planted in November each year after harvest. Planting a cover crop helps us to enrich our soil naturally; we plant oat straw, vetch, sweet peas, bell beans, clover, and many other nitrogen fixing plants. Once mature, usually in April, these plants are tilled into the soil to provide more nutrients for our organic vineyard. We have been enjoying a downpour of rain this week and look forward to seeing our cover crop grow nice and tall these next couple of months!
Nebbiolo is an Italian red grape associated with the Piedmonte region in Northern Italy and is the varietal component of Barolo and Barbaresco wines. It makes a wine that is often lighter in color, high in acidity and tannin, with signature notes of cherry and rose. The high acidity and tannin make it a difficult variety to work with in order to craft a balanced wine. However, it is these exact factors which make it a wine with a definitive potential for aging. For example, Barolo requires a minimum of 3 years aging before release, and almost 5 years for ‘riserva.’ 2015 is the first year we made Nebbiolo and there is only a handful of acres planted in Sonoma County. It is an exciting grape to work with because it is so unique. It is a late ripening grape and is always the last vineyard we pick. It needs extensive aging to soften the structure and acidity. Nebbiolo is not for the impatient but it’s worth the wait!
HARVEST WRAP UP 2018
The 2018 vintage started with a sprint but turned into a marathon. Warm temperatures all summer long promised a hasty harvest, but calm, cool weather in late August pushed our first pick until September 7th! The sun shone bright in September and we expected everything to ripen at the same time, but nature had other plans. In early October we were hit with a few days of cool temperatures and unexpected rain. The vines soaked up the water and the grape sugar levels dropped. It took another two weeks for the grapes to reach sugar maturity again, but this extra time allowed for flavors to develop. We picked our last fruit (Cab, Zin and Nebbiolo) on October 27th. We have been very happy with the quality and balance in all the wines we made this year.
The 2018 growing season started out with a bang as the early and prolonged heat-wave in June had everyone bracing for an early harvest. Turns out, the weather had other plans as unseasonably cool temps settled into the region throughout July and August, resulting in one of the latest harvests we've had in years! We are pleased to see the crop levels in our vineyards are abundant yet not over-cropped. The vines are experiencing longer ripening periods which will help allow for full flavor development, while the cooler temps of the past couple months will help retain acidity in the fruit. In areas where nighttime temperatures remain warm grapes continue to develop at night, and instead of using photosynthesis as energy, they utilize the acid in the berries. Fortunately for us, Sonoma County boasts a wide diurnal variation (hot days, cool nights) which is perfect for giving the vines a chance to rest and to maintain acid levels.
MAX, THE HAWLEY VINEYARD FALCON
John Hawley has been an avid falconer since the age of 15. Here are some endearing tidbits about his current bird, Max, a Peregrine Falcon he has raised as a hatchling:
- Flight Speed: Up to 240 miles an hour in a dive.
- Wingspan: 3.3 to 3.6ft.
- Accommodations: He slept in the bed with John for the first week and now lives in a hawk house called a mews.
- Training: Max is currently training to chase a lure that John swings to mimic prey. In a few weeks he will be ready to hunt game..
- Favorite Food: In the wild falcons hunt ducks, dove, and quail. Max gets farm raised quail for dinner.
- Job: Falconry was developed around 2000 B.C. to hunt game. Today, falcons are used for bird abatement around airports, dumps and vineyards. Max helps keep birds away from our estate grapes before harvest..
MEET "MAX" THE NEW BABY PEREGRINE
Fluffy, white down feathers, indicating youth, still adorn this falcon's head as he is only two months old! Though full grown, he will lose the last of his baby feathers in the coming weeks. John acquired Max from captive breeding and will start training him to hunt this summer! WATCH VIDEO!
LOUNGE VIBES AT OUR TASTING ROOM
Want some cheese with your wine tasting?! We are now offering tasty bites at our downtown location! Our tasting room is boasting a whole new ambiance and extended hours for the season! Friday and Saturday we'll be open until 7:30pm! Wine by the glass? Yes please! No reservations necessary - swing by and say hi! Hawley Tasting Room and Gallery 36 North Street Healdsburg, CA 95448 (707) 473-9500
FRUIT SET IN THE VINEYARD
Bloom has just finished and our vines are adorned with hard, green berry clusters, and lots of them! This year's crop looks fantastic! Hang tight, though, the real magic happens in July and August. In the coming months, these clusters will go through veraison, changing color to reveal their variety. Then, late August and September harvest begins! For updates and awesome behind the scenes harvest photos, follow us on Instagram! FOLLOW NOW
WINE PAIRINGS FOR SUMMER
The Hawley Brothers have released their special spice blend for top notch back yard cooking! Our Summer Grilling Gift Set makes it easy to supply your kitchen with tasty pairings! Rock your Hawley pride, pop a cork and start searing! Check out a fantastic recipe for Slow Cooker BBQ Picnic Chicken and more information about our spice blend! WINE PAIRING AND SPICE INFO
BEST OF CLASS CABERNET SAUVIGNON
Our 2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon won Best of Class at the California State Fair! This organically grown wine is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Boasting aromas of black cherries, currants and blackberries. Flavors of red berries, cocoa and cherry cola are backed by toasty vanilla notes and lush tannins! This club exclusive wine will go fast! Click HERE to learn more about our awesome wine club!
PINOT CUP RUNNER UP!
We are honored to announce that our 2015 Oehlman Vineyard Pinot Noir was chosen as Runner Up for this year’s Pinot Cup at Charlie Palmer’s Pigs & Pinot Event in March (http://www.pigsandpinot.com/). The Pinot Cup judges included Fred Dame - Master Sommelier, Bill Hayes - Wine Category Manager for BevMo, and Ray Isle - Executive Wine Editor for Food & Wine Magazine. Our wine was judged against 60 other world class Pinot Noirs and many were much larger producers than ourselves, so it was an unexpected surprise!
THE BROADWING HAS LANDED!
Introducing a new and rightful name for our award-winning Bordeaux-style blend! Broadwing is a term used in Falconry to describe the Buteos species, or larger birds of prey like red-tailed hawks and eagles, which effortlessly glide on the wind with their magnificent wingspan. Much like a Broadwing’s robust body and strong talons, our latest Meritage blend displays a strong backbone and unrivaled distinction. Only THREE barrels were made of this rare and extraordinary release! Displaying a myriad of sumptuous flavors, this beast is worth royalty!
This club exclusive wine will go fast! Click HERE (https://hawleywine.com/wine-club) to learn more about our awesome wine club!
DIAMONDS ON MY CORK!
Open up a properly aged Hawley Bordeaux-syle blend, or Petite Sirah and you'll likely see a dazzling, pigment-dyed cork like this! Sediment is often misunderstood and can actually signify a fine wine that has been properly aged in the bottle. The glittering crystals are actually made of potassium bitartrates, sometimes referred to as "wine crystals." In wine, potassium ions will bind with tartaric acid molecules resulting in potassium bitartrate, also know as cream of tartar. The tartrate crystals form on the cork when wine is bottle-aged. The other sediment is tannin and pigment molecules that combine during aging. They eventually fall from solution and deposit on the cork or side of the bottle, rendering the aged wine extremely smooth and well worth the wait!
KICKING BACK AT HAWLEY
Hawley Tasting Room & Gallery opened in 2010 in downtown Healdsburg and has been evolving ever since! This season we are proud to have established a new lounge in our very same space! Luxurious new seating is arranged amongst hand-made wooden tables by our own tasting room manager, Jordan Girkout! We are unveiling our whole new look along with extended hours on the weekends starting in mid May 2018. We invite you and your pals to spend Summer evenings on our front porch; sip our wines AND nibble on charcuterie from our newly-launched menu! Live a bit too far away? Let us know if you would like to send a friend in your place for VIP treatment!
36 North Street Healdsburg, CA 95448
HAWLEY IN THE PRESS!
2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Hopkins River Ranch
90 points - Wine Enthusiast
Retail $23 ~ Club $19.20
2017 Rose of Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley
90 points - Wine Enthusiast
Retail $23 ~ Club $19.20
2016 Viognier, Sonoma County
90 Points - CA Grapevine
Retail $28 ~ Club $22.40
2015 Pinot Noir, Oehlman Vineyard
Runner Up - Pigs and Pinot!
90 points - CA Grapevine
90 points- Wine Enthusiast
Retail $46 ~ Club $36.80
2015 Cabernet Franc, Dry Creek Valley
91 points - CA Grapevine
Retail $40 ~ Club $32
2015 Reserve Petite Sirah, Dry Creek Valley
93 Points - Wine Enthusiast
Retail $40 ~ Club 32
2017 HARVEST IS A WRAP
What a wild ride it has been for Harvest 2017. Our harvest began September 2nd with our Sauvignon Blanc and wrapped up with pressing out our Nebbiolo on November 1st. Mother Nature kept us on our toes for eight weeks of excitement, exhaustion and everything in between. We are thankful to be done!
Starting Sunday, October 8th devastating wild fires raged through Napa and Sonoma Counties, about seven miles east and 20 miles south of our winery. The following weeks unfolded restlessly for us with constant evacuation notices and ongoing evacuee support; all while surrounded by ground-based and aerial firefighting. Now, with the fires contained, we focus our efforts on supporting those that lost everything. More than 5,500 homes burned in Santa Rosa and, for perspective, that is double the number of homes that are in our town of Healdsburg. Everyone in our community has friends or family who were directly affected by the fires. We are filled with gratitude for the many local and non-local responders that helped us to fight fires, control traffic and aid with the ample support that our community immediately required. In the coming months, the best way to help is to continue to support Sonoma and Napa businesses and be sure to make plans to visit this beautiful Wine Country!
We are proud to announce the first-ever release of Hawley Cabernet Franc! Cabernet Franc is a Bordeaux variety that is traditionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. The 2014 Estate Cabernet Franc was so amazing in the barrel that we decided to bottle 100 cases of 80% Cab Franc and 20% Merlot. Our certified organic estate vineyard is only nine acres and of that, less than half an acre is planted to Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc is known for its spice and floral aroma, intense berry fruit and long finish. We blended in a bit of Merlot to enhance the richness of the mid palate. Grab a bottle while you can because we don’t know when we will be bottling the Estate Cabernet Franc again!
CLUB RECIPE COMPETITION EXTENDED!
Want your favorite family recipe featured in our Wine Club newsletter? The Hawley Recipe Competition continues! We are extending the deadline until January 15th! Send in a favorite family recipe and let us know which wine to pair it with! The winner will receive a special Hawley Apron and our favorite recipes will be featured in upcoming newsletters! Recipes may also be featured in Instagram and Facebook posts so send a selfie or a food pic if desired. Send Recipes to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For behind the scenes pictures and to stay in the Hawley loop, follow us on Instagram and Facebook
- DECEMBER 9th – Holiday Party
- JANUARY 13-14th – Winter Wineland
- FEBRUARY 17th – Puppy Love
- MARCH 3rd-4th – Wine Road Barrel Tasting
- MARCH 10-11th – Club Exclusive Barrel Tasting
We are very excited about our 2017 wines! This harvest has been a true roller coaster ride. Early bud break and a warm, wet spring season had everyone expecting an early harvest until record-breaking heat waves in July and August impeded ripening. When vines get above 95 degrees, photosynthesizing tends to shut down. John has never seen a harvest this warm in Dry Creek Valley! Luckily, the vines recovered by September and our first grapes were picked on Sept. 2nd; a week later than last year. From that point forward, it’s been all hands-on deck. The winery is bustling with activity from the wee hours of the morning until the sun sets. Our cellar is filled with enticing aromas of fermentation and we look forward to toasting to another great vintage. The harvest moon doesn’t set until all the wines are finished and slumbering away in barrels.
THE (GROWING) HAWLEY FAMILY
Harvesting of the vines always brings the Hawley family together in celebration and recognition of the beauty and bounty of Sonoma County and, specifically, our own special pocket in the midst of it all. And with the newest little addition to our family, we have even more to celebrate! Meghan and Paul’s baby girl, Bryn, is looking to big cousins Emmy and Hayes for guidance in playtime and mischief, and, like the wines we bottle, our growing family just keeps getting better with age.
WINE CLUB RECIPE COMPETITION
Got a favorite Hawley wine pairing? Email us your own special recipe (and photo for bonus points!) The Grand Prize-winner will receive a Hawley apron and will be featured in our December Newsletter! We’re excited to taste what you’ve got cooking! Email recipes and pictures to email@example.com by November 1st.
HAWLEY EVENTS CALENDAR
November 11th – Family Dinner at Monti’s Rotisserie in Santa Rosa, CA
December 9th – Holiday Party at the Hawley Tasting Room
January 13-14th – Winter Wineland at the Hawley Tasting Room
February 17th – Puppy Love Pick Up Party at the Hawley Tasting Room
March 3-4th – Barrel Tasting Weekend at the Hawley Tasting Room